March Madness is finally back. With the brackets coming out this past weekend, we will take a deep look into the every region. Here’s the East region.
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 16 Mount Saint Mary’s/Texas Southern
The Michigan Wolverines won the regular-season Big 10 championship and are one of the hottest teams coming into March. The Wolverines have all the size, shooting, and skill it takes to win a National Championship. Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner are future NBA prospects. They both have the offensive and defensive skills to take the Wolverines to the Final Four. Along with the guards, Michigan has a great inside presence. Freshman Hunter Dickinson is a great back to the hoop big man. Defensively, he’s been great too. Along with Eli Brooks and Mike Smith, Michigan has a great chance to make a run in the east region. This first round won’t be hard.
No. 8 LSU vs No. 9 St. Bonaventure
This will be a great game in the East region. LSU has had an exciting season. The Tigers have been great offensively throughout the season but have struggled on defense. Recently, LSU has been mixing up its defenses between man-to-man and zone. This has seemed to help, but they still gave up 80 in the SEC Championship. This could hurt them as they’re playing an outstanding defensive team in St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies are led by Kyle Lofton, who was a first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection. Along with the shooting skills of Jaren Holmes and the driving skills of Jalen Adaway, their guards are dangerous. This game will be close, but I’d give LSU the slight advantage.
No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 12 Georgetown
The Colorado Buffaloes have been great this season. The Buffaloes are led by McKinley Wright, who is the best player between both teams. Wright is averaging 15.5 points and 5.6 assists a game while shooting around 50% from the floor. Along with being a great scorer, Wright has great vision. Even Battery is the big man for this Colorado squad. The battery is very skilled and is hard to move around. Georgetown comes into this game on fire. The Hoyas went on an insane run and won the Big East tournament. Colorado is an excellent team, but don’t overlook Georgetown in this one.
No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 13 UNC Greensboro
Florida State is a dangerous four seed. The Seminoles play great on the defensive end and switch every screen, which is very disruptive. M.J. Walker and RaiQuan Gray have been their best players this season. This team is very deep and can go 9 to 10 people deep on their bench. With UNC Greensboro only shooting around 30% from three as a team, it could cause problems. UNC Greensboro is led by Isaiah Miller. Miller is averaging 19.3 points and 6.9 rebounds as a 6’ tall guard. This should be a tough test for Florida State, but don’t expect an upset.
Michigan State and UCLA will play in the First Four to see who will be playing BYU. BYU has had a good season. Matt Haarms, the Purdue transfer, has been a big inside presence this year. The 7-3 big man can protect the rim, rebound, and finish. Out on the wing, guards Brandon Averette and Alex Barcello are their leaders. Both players are great with scoring and have good vision. BYU may not have as good of a team as last year, but they still received a 6-seed. This is an interesting spot. Michigan State and UCLA have both shown they can beat top-ranked teams. This is a big game to keep your eye on in the East region.
No. 3 Texas vs. No. 14 Abilene Christian
The Texas Longhorns have been playing great lately. After winning the Big 12 tournament for the first time ever, they’re ready to go. The Longhorns have excellent guards in Matt Coleman, Courtney Ramey, and Andrew Jones. With Jericho Sims and Greg Brown’s inside presence, they have one of the best all-around teams in the tournament. This Texas squad is great at driving to the rim and has some shooters as well. The Longhorns are one of the best teams in the East region.
This game will be a battle in the East region. A great offensive UConn squad against a great defensive Maryland squad. UConn has the best player in this game with James Bouknight. Bouknight is a future NBA player and rarely makes errors. The star guard missed some time in the regular season due to injury but is back and healthy. Maryland has a major defensive presence, though. Darryl Morsell has had a good year and was named Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year. This game will be close. Keep it on your upset watch.
Alabama is scary this season. The Crimson Tide are a very long and athletic team that can hit three’s from anywhere. Herb Jones is the facilitator of the team. Alongside John Petty and Jaden Shackelford, this team is hard to stop. Alabama is very fast as well. They will move up-and-down the floor very quickly and take a lot of three-pointers. The Crimson Tide average 11 three-pointers a game but have hit many more than that before. If this team is hot, they’ll be hard to take down. For Iona, this was a great season. This is the 5th straight year they have played in the NCAA tournament, and Rick Pitino is in charge. They might have a quick exit, though.
Most Potential: Alabama Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide are the most dangerous team in this region. Between their athleticism and skill, they are difficult to match up against. Michigan comes in as a close second but is hurting due to the loss of Isaiah Livers. We could see Alabama make it out of the East region this year.
Cinderella Potential: Georgetown Hoyas
This is a difficult region for cinderellas. Just looking at conference tournaments, the Hoyas would have the most potential to make a run. Georgetown shocked everyone by winning the Big East tournament and did it pretty easily; if they can keep up that same pace, who knows where they’ll stop.